Hunter Education 101 Courses Offer Hands-on Hunting Opportunities for Beginners This Fall

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AUSTIN —Fall hunting kicked off this month with the start of dove season, but it’s never too late to learn the skill and value hunting brings to Texas wildlife through upcoming hunter education classes. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s (TPWD) Hunter Education Program offers in-person learning events through the end of February, which combine a classroom course with beginner hunting opportunities in the field with experts.

“These classes are a perfect opportunity for anyone who has been interested in learning how to hunt to do so in a safe environment with one of our experienced hunter education instructors,” said Steve Hall, Hunter Education Program Leader for TPWD. “Hunting plays a valuable role in managing the population of Texas’ native species and also allows folks to feed themselves in an ethical and sustainable way.”

Workshops scheduled this fall with hands-on learning opportunities include dove hunting, waterfowl hunting, trapping and wilderness survival. Each of these events will have instructors nearby to help advance the skills of the participants.

Registration for all upcoming workshops can be completed online on the Hunter Education webpage on the TPWD website. All bird hunting classes require a valid Texas hunting license and state migratory bird endorsement. Licenses can be purchased on the TPWD website, sporting goods stores or local TPWD law enforcement offices.

Class dates and locations are listed by topic:

Trapping

Trapping 101, Feb. 2 – 4, 2024, Cherokee Ridge (near Alto), 16378 FM 1911, Alto, TX, 75925

  • The Trapping 101 class teaches students ethical and humane practices for responsible trapping through hands-on field exercises. Participants set and run a working trap line, as well as learn about equipment, baits, lures, scents, field dressing, fur harvest, pelt management and carcass disposal. Camping is available onsite.

Waterfowl

Waterfowl 101, Dec. 30 – 31, 2024, Cactus Rec Center, 600 Center, Cactus, TX, 79013

Waterfowl 101, Dec. 31, 2023- Jan. 1, 2024, Cactus Rec Center, 600 Center, Cactus, TX, 79013

  • The Waterfowl 101 class covers a variety of topics including basic waterfowl biology, anatomy, flight patterns and identification. Additionally, participants learn the basics of shotgun shooting and firearms safety on the range prior to the hunt. Instructors teach hands-on field dressing and share game recipes to be enjoyed at home. Texas Game Wardens will also be available to educate participants about proper field transfer, storage and transportation guidelines.

Wilderness Survival

Wilderness Survival 101, Feb. 23 – 25, Coleto Creek, 365 Coleto Park Road, Victoria, TX, 77905

  • This hands-on wilderness survival class covers topics Including survival priorities, shelter, construction, fire starting techniques, knots, map and compass, foraging and plant recognition, survival first aid and more. Stop the Bleed certifications are included with the first aid portion of the class. Saturday night is reserved for solo camping, so students will be able to put their skills to the test by constructing their own shelter, foraging for food and enjoying a night under the stars.

Youngsters and their families are encouraged to sign up for additional hunting opportunities through TPWD public drawn hunts program. Public hunts include unique hunting permits including alligator, white-tailed deer, mule deer, exotics, feral hogs, javelina and turkey. There are also antlerless permits available at several U.S. Forest Service properties.

Additionally,  Texas Wildlife Association (TWA) provides experiences through their Texas Youth Hunting Program (TYHP) and Adult Learn to Hunt Program.  TYHP is perfect for children ages 9 through 17, and their parent or guardian, who want to put what they learned in the basic Hunter Education Course (a pre-requisite for TYHP hunts) into practice on private lands throughout Texas.

To learn more about Texas Hunter Education, find a course, or other resources, visit the Hunter Education page on the TPWD website.